Oh lookee here! It’s a member of the DC contingent of Good Enough Mother, Debra Chappell! Debra and I had a chance to bond over brunch and broken toes (isn’t that what happened?) when I was in DC for Blogalicious a few months back and let me just say, a friendship solidified over liquor is friendship solified for life. Read more about Debra, in her own words and remember, if you want to play along with our Life Lessons feature, drop us a line; we’ll get the questions right out to you!


Are you happy at the moment?

Yes!!  I have a wonderful marriage, my family is doing well, and I have surrounded myself with people who motivate me and keep me inspired.

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Be as nice as you are, but learn to be less naïve…seek the balance…embrace the balance…maintain the balance. It’s not as easy, so hang on for a bumpy ride.  You will have to learn you have to make tough decisions, but that is OK.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

Keep yourself motivated and inspired, and do the same for others. These terms run so much deeper than their denotations. And sometimes, you can’t save/help people from themselves.

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

My listing is in no specific order. Organizing the entire house (easier said than done). Celebrate my next birthday as if it were my Sweet 16.  Continue to embrace who I am, as well as motivate and inspire.

What’s your secret to happiness?

Always seek and embrace the good for those things who don’t make me happy. Prioritize and embrace what REALLY makes me happy, and keep those ideas ahead of what makes me sad. Most importantly, I learned to deal with things/people “in spite of,” instead of “because of.”

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

This is really nutty, so please don’t have me committed, LOL!! I actually talk to my mother in my head to get her perspective.  Lord knows she has drummed into me sharing,  caring and remaining HUMBLE for the accomplishments we have made as a family.

What’s your biggest regret?

In my younger days, I was not prepared to deal with folks not being kind to you or wanting the best for you, no matter how hard you tried. I regret that I didn’t know back then how to respond, embrace the possibilities of how/why this was happening, and to embrace how to use this situation to make me a better person. I think I do a better job with this now.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

God saw it fit that my kids would not be my own per se, but to share my motherly love with my niece, godchildren and other children and young adults as if they were my own.  I try to teach them that this world does not cater to them, and achievements have to be obtained through efforts. They should be cognizant that all achievements are based on standing on the shoulders of others, whether it is directly or indirectly. Finally, their measurement of success is relative: for personal, financial, and professional achievements.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Biting my fingernails!  I have got to find a new way to release my nervous energy.  I tried shopping, but no success, LOL!

Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I am very proud of my family…and myself.  I am also proud of completing my degree in a predominately male field and completing it in spite of others doing what they could to deter me. It helped me grow a second skin, stand up for myself and being cognizant of expectations and goals.

When were you happiest?

I am happiest right now. I aspire to be happier today than I was yesterday.

What ten words best describe you?

Kind.  Inspiring.  Frank.  Funny.  Giving.  Loving.  Intelligent.  Creative.  Adventurous.  Determined.